New Animal Discovered in Borneo

What do you think this looks like? There is exciting news out of Borneo. A new red-furred animal larger than a domestic cat has reportedly been discovered on this remote island of Indonesia.

Borneo Animal

On December 5, 2005, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) announced that they have discovered the “first new carnivore to be found in the region since the Tonkin otter-civet emerged in Vietnam in 1930.” Also, the WWF said it would be the first new mammal to be specifically found on the island of Borneo since the Borneo ferret-badger in 1895.

The new carnivore was found in Kayan Mentarang National Park in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo.

According to reports in The Times of London and other sources the “only evidence that exists are photographs taken by an automatically triggered camera on a jungle trail in Indonesia in 2003. Infuriatingly, a large leaf obscured the creature’s face as the shutter went off.”

Stephen Wulffraat, discoverer of the so-far unnamed animal, noted: “We showed the photos to locals who know the wildlife of the area, but nobody had ever seen this creature before. We also consulted several Bornean wildlife experts. Some thought it looked like a lemur, but most were convinced it was a new species of carnivore.”

But doesn’t it seem obvious this looks more like a civet, than a primate?

The photographs show, writes reporters Nick Meo and Nigel Hawkes, “an enigmatic, red-furred creature with tiny ears and distinctive markings. The leaf that obscures its face makes it impossible to say if it has a pointed snout like a dog or fox, or a flat face like a cat. A second photo, from behind, shows it to have a long, bushy tail rather like a fox, and large hind legs. It is slightly larger than a domestic cat.”

The mystery animal’s pictures were initially taken by WWF field researchers in 2003, but the photos were kept unpublished by the WWF as research continued. The WWF decided to make public the photos with the release of a book about Borneo.

The animal is slightly larger than a domestic cat with dark red fur and a long bushy tail. It was photographed twice by a night camera trap.

The photograph here is copyrighted by the WWF, and reproduced here for research purposes.